Soft or Hard Clay?

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cayman shen

Master Member
I was researching clay, and I discovered that clays like Chavant come in various hardnesses, and the Complete Sculptor website suggests some clays are intended more for carving.

Now, I've tried small Sculpey figures with, basically, no real success. I hated the whole "add little blobs to the armature and shape them" nonsense. I'd always f-up my old work when I tried to add/work on more detail. I'd be much more comfortable whittling a block down the the shape I need.

Does anyone on the board work this way? I'd like some input before I plunk down the money. I don't mind spending money on my hobbies if it means I get the right materials, but I can pinch a penny pretty hard, so I HATE the whole "experiment with different materials" mentality (although I guess I've done that with the Sculpey).

So...?
 

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Usurper

Well-Known Member
I have CHAVANT MEDIUM and SOFT here, I know its only medium , but trust me in the UK medium is rock hard, and im more comfortable with it this way,as im clumsy and struggle if the clay it too soft.

id imagine as i hopefully get to be a better sculpter, ill be happier working in a softer clay to move quicker.

not sure this helps, but just my thoughts.
 

cayman shen

Master Member
It does help, thanks. I think I saw your discussion about this when I searched the forum. I'm in northeast USA, so the weather conditions are similar, no doubt.

So you find you're more cutting away than adding on is what I gather? That's what I'm looking for.
 

xdmray

Well-Known Member
hey cayman. I use the same. chavant med. it's really nice to have a hard clay. like usurper said, if you bump it, it still holds it's shape well.
i find that i add clay more than i do "whittling". but you still end up doing both. get yourself a crock pot. warming it softens it up and makes adding alot easier. just watch it though, it's melting point is reached quick. if you wait too long you will find yourself waiting for your clay soup to cool again.
 

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honest insanity

New Member
From armor making ive learned this...

Soft Clay = Easier to form/lesser in detail (even sometimes can mess up the shape when molding)

Hard Clay= Makes it better for high detail but takes much longer and harder work to form.
 

cayman shen

Master Member
Is it relatively easy to add new clay to a hard clay sculpture? Getting new blobs onto the clay is a constant pain, especially without f-ing up existing work.

Leaning toward a harder clay...
 

Usurper

Well-Known Member
I dont have any trouble, just take time blending the edges , theres shouldnt be any real detail there anyway if your still adding clay , ie blocking out. :D
 

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